Rain, Raga and Reminiscence

Gowri Bhargav posted under Flash Fiction QuinTale-54 on 2023-07-24

The sky was overladen with dark clouds and the sizzling ground was abated by a few stray raindrops. Ah! The heavenly petrichor–it carried resounding memories. I was reminded of the day when Ramesh had come with his parents to see me – the same old-fashioned way to meet a prospective bride before fixing a wedding. My eyes could hardly meet him when I served coffee. My father asked me to sing a Carnatic song. I chose to sing a song set in the Amrithavarshini raga. And I didn't know if it was my voice or a mere coincidence–the clear sky suddenly turned cloudy, it smelled of wet earth and within minutes, it began to pour. Ramesh then requested to speak with me privately. For the first few minutes, we simply stared at each other. I felt as though the symphony of the falling raindrops added magic to the eloquent conversations between our eyes. And then at last , he spoke. " Rekha… I wish to wake up to your sweet voice every morning." I told him that I was flattered by his remark and burst out laughing. That was how our conversation started and then there was no stopping. On the pretext of serving bajjis and kesari, my curious mother came to check on us. But we were unperturbed by the interruptions. Amidst the soothing smell and sound of the falling raindrops, wafting aroma from the delicious snacks, and sweet conversations, the universe conspired a forever love story. We got married and years passed but that day is still etched in my memory. *** I shook from my reverie upon hearing Ramesh's voice. " I'm getting late to the office," he said. A few drops of tears trickled down my cheek but I just wiped them with my pallu and hurried to assist Ramesh. "You don't go to the office anymore dear. You retired. Remember?" I told him as I held his hand. " Really? Who are you? Where is my assistant Vasu?" I felt my heart-wrenching and a lump in my throat. " Vasu is on leave. I will help," I said with a smile that held back all my emotions. I made him sit on the sofa and served him coffee. Ramesh stared outside the window as though entranced by the falling rain. I sat beside him. After a while, he suddenly held my hand and exclaimed " Rekha, can you sing that Amrithavarshini raga for me?" It was like a sudden flash of lightning that had triggered his memories of that memorable rainy day. Overjoyed, I sang not once but twice. He enjoyed listening to me. " Rekha! I love you." His eyes brimmed with love. I felt a thousand cells light up within my body and hugged him. He held me too but only for a few seconds. " Who are you? Where is Vasu?" Ramesh seemed confused. His mind went blurry yet again but I knew how much he loved me, and my love for him will remain untarnished despite his fading memories.  *** Glossary  Amrithavarshini- A raga in carnatic music that is believed to bring rain.     Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!